Monday 18 December 2017

Kevin Lim: Sky-high house prices, foreigners ‘stealing’ jobs and a chasm between rich and poor – welcome to Singapore

A BY-ELECTION in Singapore tomorrow is putting a spotlight on strains and discontent in one of Asia's wealthiest countries and biggest success stories: the transformation of a post-colonial backwater into an economic powerhouse.

The dominant People's Action Party (PAP) that has ruled Singapore for more than half a century faces the risk of a humiliating loss in Punggol East, a relatively young and affluent ward.

It won't change the balance of power in parliament, where the PAP holds 81 of 87 elected seats. But a loss - or even a very narrow win - would send a troubling signal to the PAP, founded by the prime minister's father, Lee Kuan Yew, and winner of every national election since independence in 1965.

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